( Not a Sandwich Thief )
Eliza Kinkz is a Tejana illustrator/author who still views the world through the bright colors of her crayon box. Recently, she illustrated Goldies Guide to Grandchilding, and the upcoming Papá's Magical Water Jug Clock. In 2022 she was awarded the James Marshall Fellowship, and ate one of the best muffins of her life. Eliza lives with her wonderful family, and her breakfast tacos in Austin,TX.
Minerva, First Second, Nickelodeon, Shadow Machine, Atlantic Records
James Marshall Fellowship, SCBWI Austin Portfolio Showcase Winner,
Student Academy Award National Finalist, SXSW Animation Official Selection,
Spotlight Award UCLA Film Festival, Edie & Lew Wasserman Award in Animation
When did you know you wanted to make Children's Books?
In Kindergarten, we did an activity in weekly rotations where we made books.
I loved it!!!
So I lied that I didn't do it... so I could do it again the next day! And then the next...
Unfortunately, my Teacher caught me on the third lie, and said I couldn't make any more books.
Took me only 20 years to be
"Heyyyyy wait a minute...I can still make books!"
Were your parents Artists?
On my mothers side, my grandfather wanted to be an Artist, and my Mother was an amazing Artist. Both decided it was not a good profession to raise a family with.
On my father's side, he comes from a long line of people who do not like to be told they can't do something. Like when he was told he shouldn't go to college as no one would hire a Mexican.
So I'm a combination of talent, determination, and privilege that all my hard working family provided me.
Where did you go to school?
CCAD and UCLA's Animation Workshop. My thesis film at UCLA “Chocolate Milk” was a finalist for the Student Academy Awards.
Why did you switch from Animation to Picture Books?
After a rough period in high school, I felt lost until I discovered story telling again. At the time, Animation seemed like the best format to tell stories, and I passionately pursued that route. Then once I was working in animation studios, I came to realize what I had really loved was telling my OWN stories.
Around that time, I was fortunate to be able to take a few years off to have kids. During this time I re-discovered children's books, and fell in love with them. For me, they are the perfect way to tell my stories, and I can physically hug them, too!
Who inspires you?
I'm very fortunate to be part of a group of local Women Illustrators here in Austin called The Girllustrators. They constantly inspire me, and have brought me out of my shell as an Artist.
My husband Phi who immigrated from Vietnam as a child, and has become an amazing Artist in his own right!
My other big inspiration is MY KIDS. I'm always jealous when I see their drawings. Especially scribble-scrabble!
David Shrigley, James Marshall, Liana Finck, Tor Freeman, Mary Blair, Kate Beaton, Abby Hanlon, Beatrice Alemagna, Gusti, William Steig, Shinsuke Yoshitake, Pakoto, Katie Vernon, Ping Zhu, Jessie Hartland, Chelsea Akpan, Quentin Blake
Sense & Sensibility, Crimen Ferpecto, The Royal Tenenbaums, Hellboy(2004),
My Man Godfrey, Tonari no Totoro, Bridesmaids, Little Forrest
Staring at people, Gardening, Laying on sidewalk and staring at the sky, Yoga,
Baking (I actually stress bake in times of worry which works out well for my kids),
Staring at the baked goods in coffee shops, and holding up the line while I say "uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh what's that one?"
Who is your spirit animal?
James Marshall's Martha
Can I pleasssseeee post your art/comic on my website/Twitter/etc?
If you're not using the comic for commercial purposes, you don't have to ask permission. Just please don't take my name off/edit comics, and a link back to my website/instagram/etc to give me credit would be awesome as well! Thanks!!
Can you pleasssseeee illustrate my self-published Picture Book?
I'm so flattered of you to think of me, but currently I'm only taking on projects from Publishers. As my other spare time is spent working on my own projects. If only I had 4 hands...(shakes 6 fists at sky)
Happily reading to my kids at 7:30am while on vacation. Just soooo happy...especially with no coffee yet.